The Magnificent NaNo Experience #1


Hey everyone! Long time 🙂

So as many of you may or may not know, I took part in NaNoWriMo 2013. To record an entire month’s worth of happenings and pen down my feelings at various stages wouldn’t be easy in one post, so I have decided to do a series post. Not  only will I forever be able to cherish this experience but some of you who haven’t participated in NaNo before and are hoping to try next year, may find these posts useful.

In this post I am going to talk about the pre-NaNo prep. I am a person who prefers doing thorough research before I get into a task. As of October 28th I knew what my story was going to be like. I had a beginning and an ending in mind, not much to fill the gaps in between though. I signed up and found out that many people had already created a title, a book cover, a synopsis and so. It was reason enough to panic, but I suppressed my anxiety and got down to perfecting my synopsis. I found little comfort in posts put up by others that said “it’s not a problem if you don’t have cover in the beginning”. It was a problem for me. A big one at that. Being a perfectionist doesn’t come easy. There were people with fancy covers a week before NaNo started. I had to have one! Immediately I picked a NaNo Artisan who was offering to do covers for free. In a matter of time I had somebody working on mine. I was to get it by first week of November. How wonderful! The synopsis didn’t take that much time and with a lot of assurances from my friends and family, I was ready with a somewhat reasonably good synopsis. Only if the title were so easy to come up with. I still remember how tormented I had gotten over deciding the title. My mind went blank and stayed that way for hours. Not to scare you, but while you decide the theme or storyline, you might want to keep some keywords in mind, to help you with the title. I hadn’t thought of that and I blindly went ahead and wrote my synopsis after much speculation. Now ofcourse I wasn’t going to alter my synopsis to suit the title, but with minor tweaks I had some ideas in mind.

Mid November I started realizing how unprepared I really was. I hadn’t made an outline of the novel for starters. You may think of it as unnecessary. I did too but I wasted a lot of time because of that misconception. Unless you have prior experience at novel writing and/or you are an exceptionally imaginative person, please please do make an outline of your novel before Nov. It’s not cheating as long as you only jot down some words concerning each chapter of your novel. The problem with not making the outline is that there is no fixed track. You start out with what you had in mind, then you go with the flow and write on the spot. But when there are no set boundaries, there is a tendency for the story to drag and be all over the place. It becomes difficult to end it in the way you thought and in time for the due date. Because I hadn’t made an outline, I ended up taking more time to think of my next sentence than I did writing in a day. Also I had to add a lot more twists and turns to keep the story afloat. If only I had decided what was to happen in each chap, I feel my novel would be more balanced and better paced. So preparing in advance is a life saver. DO NOT NEGLECT the preparation stage. And certainly DO NO WHILE AWAY the last few days of October. They come in handy..

Sorry for the extremely long post. More to come next time 🙂


Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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